I was so happy to put up a real tree for Christmas this year, well, I was until it was time to take it down and clean up. Those pine needles may as well been nails because my mini shop vac and my regular vacuum had no chance of picking them up.

My hoover just kept grinding them into smaller and smaller pieces and embedding them deeper and deeper into the carpet. I pray for you homeowners with shag carpet, for more reasons than just the pine needle situation, but I digress.

I’ve come up with a fool proof way to estimate the number of passes you’ll need to make over each square foot with your vacuum to actually suck the needles all up, let’s do a little math. Take a guess at how many needles you think are on your tree. Got it? Okay, now multiply that by 100 – because, well, come on you’re not an expert needle count guesser and a higher number will serve to make my point. If you picked up a calculator, and you see something like this 2×10³², you’re getting warmer – better double it one more time to be sure.

You see, every one of those fucking needles is going to end up on the floor, and that little tree skirt you bought on sale is going to catch no more than seven of ’em. And those seven are going to fall on the floor anyway after you try to remove it from the tree.

Now that we have the number of repetitions it will take per square foot, you can make a time estimate by measuring the area in which the needles lay. Don’t forget to measure to the path to the door, cause that thing is going to shed like pig pen on the way out. Take your number of sqare feet, and multiply it by your number from above. Now multiply that time by a google (you can substitute fictitious numbers like a “bagillion plex plus 1” if you like, it doesn’t really matter at this point) Most of you have given up figuring this out because your calculator now says “error overflow”, but you calculus dorks who actually remember how to evaluate limits, have discovered that the time will take the limit as X approaches for fucking ever as the area approaches 10 squar feet.

Finally, take that number you’ve come up with and throw it away. Just go and rent a Rug Doctor and do it right the first time.